when adopting older children (especially when you either have zero kid or only younger kids) school is a huge adjustment. we all of a sudden had 3 kids in school the last 9 weeks of a school year. i had NO IDEA what was going on. that was a complete blur to me. and in just a few short months my oldest began middle school. i was faced with geometry, ridiculous vocabulary, and all this other school that i DID NOT remember! homework was a nightmare. my kids already felt like they failed for 7 hours at school that they hated to come home and work on homework for another 4 hours and fail at that. and yes, homework at one point was taking us 4 hours, even just a simple front and back worksheet. it was a nightmare. lots of meetings were held at the school with teachers, guidance counselors, and anyone else that could be involved. i am extremely thankful for public school because they are obligated to provide every resource your child will need. there was a point we just didn't do homework because it wasn't worth the fighting. but i think about half way through the school year i finally got the rhythm down. it was and is still a huge adjustment.
last year we were blessed because some friends and family purchased all our school supplies. this year i've been stocking up over the school year for most of the stuff we need. but we were still met with some obscure things on our middle schoolers (yes, i have 2 in middle school this year) like flash drives, scientific calculators, and office supplies for the teacher. it was extremely overwhelming last summer to look at those school supply lists and see everything that my kids needed. i can't even imagine buying school supplies for more than 3 at the moment. but God is good and provided and still provides everything we need. he has also supplied me with the patience needed to guide the boys through school. some things we've learned the hard way. i learned that i do not help my oldest out with homework. it's just not good for our relationship so brian works with him. and of course, brian is the most patient and amazing dad and husband you could ask for. plus he has the gift of teaching and more importantly he understands middle schoolers (may the Lord bless him abundantly for that!).
many people ask if i would consider homeschooling my kids. and of course i would say yes to whatever God asked me to do but currently we believe it is in every one's best interest that our boys attend public school. they love school and thrive on the structure and social environment that school provides. it is also good for them to have the separation from both me and each other (i also need that time away from them). it helps us enjoy the time we do spend together. we make it a point to sit down every night as a family for dinner and talk about our day. it is great bonding time for us. now again, this is what works for my family. it might not work next year or for our other kids or even your kids, but we just take it day by day.